Yanitza Acis & Galatee
Acis et GalatÃ©e tells the mythological story of a love triangle involving a shepherd, a half-goddess and a rival lover cyclops. Paul Paray's musical treatment of this story was awarded second prize in the 1910 musical competition for the Prix de Rome of the AcadÃ©mie des Beaux Artes, even though the jury, which included Saint-Saens and FaurÃ©, had voted Paray's as the best score submitted. Undaunted by this setback, the following year Paray reentered the contest and won the coveted first prize with his Yanitza. This medieval Albanian legend tells of a seditious plan to surrender Albania to Turkish rule. As a result of Paray's success with Yanitza, the composer spent two years in Rome, enjoying the cultural richness of Italy until the outbreak of the First World War urged him to enlist himself for service to his country. Both cantatas, for three solo voices and orchestra, are here recorded for the first time. The intriguing and mysterious institution of the famed Prix de Rome contest is given full explanation in the CD booklet which contains several interesting historical photos.